Giving you the knowledge and skills to make a difference in marine conservation.
With the increasing variety and scale of human activities that affect marine environments it is vital that we have scientists who are able to take a multidisciplinary approach to understanding, monitoring and regulating impacts on marine biodiversity.
Run in collaboration with key conservation and management bodies, this MSc programme will provide you with an understanding of the issues that are central to marine conservation, and will develop practical skills and analytical ability that you can apply to real-world situations. You will learn from renowned researchers and leading practitioners, and will gain deep insight into a wide range of marine ecosystems in Scotland and internationally.
The programme will suit individuals looking to work in conservation bodies, environmental consultancies, government agencies, or progress to PhD research, as well as professionals who are keen to refocus their knowledge and skills on conservation of marine biodiversity.
How You'll Study
Our programme incorporates a wide range of learning formats, including talks from invited experts; individual and group research; and field, laboratory and computer exercises, as well as traditional lectures and seminars. Many of the activities are designed to enhance communication and teamwork skills in a variety of settings.
The programme provides opportunities to engage with staff from Marine Scotland, SNH and JNCC, as well as professionals from NGOs and the private sector, representing environmental consulting firms, for example. The programme also incorporates non-curricular workshops on improving employability, such as CV writing.
Aberdeen is well situated for providing students with learning opportunities outside the classroom, including:
- Outdoor field work at the University’s field station and research sites
- Tours of marine industry facilities, including Aberdeen Harbour, aquaculture sites and fish markets
- Access to laboratories that monitor water quality, fish health and fisheries
- Tours of Marine Scotland’s fleet of research vessels
- Obtaining the certifications required for seagoing research
The research project is one of the main highlights of the programme, drawing together the knowledge and skills you have acquired to address a specific research question under the supervision of one or more experts in the field.
Projects can be field-based, laboratory-based or desk-based according to individual learning objectives, and can be undertaken in a variety of locations.
The programme is assessed entirely by continuous assessment: there are no exams. The degree programme is assessed using a range of formats, including written reports, oral presentations, posters, online tests, open book assessments, literature reviews, blogs, marine conservation consultation response, participation in stakeholder workshop, project plan, and the research project report.
Why Study Marine Conservation?
There has been a rapid expansion of marine conservation initiatives in recent years, as governments have responded to public pressure and international drivers for better management of marine environments, yet there remain significant challenges to conserving marine biodiversity.
It is vital that there are highly trained marine conservation professionals to ensure that issues are properly understood and management proposals are well conceived. By studying Marine Conservation at the University of Aberdeen, you will gain a deep understanding of marine ecosystems and biodiversity, the effects of human activities on them, and how management measures can be developed, as well as a suite of cutting-edge skills to put theory into practice.
The University of Aberdeen is particularly well placed to deliver this programme because:
- Courses are delivered by internationally renowned academics, government scientists, teaching fellows and marine resource managers;
- Aberdeen is the centre of a variety of marine activities and the programme offers interaction with a range of industries, including aquaculture, offshore oil and gas, and renewable energy;
- You will develop skills such as statistical analysis, mathematical modelling and geographical information systems, making you more attractive to prospective employers;
- You will gain essential research skills, including project planning, literature reviewing, data collection, analysis and interpretation, which will be beneficial to your future career;
- You will have guest lectures from statutory nature conservation bodies, environmental NGOs, industry, and government;
- You will have the opportunity to engage with staff from the Scottish Government’s marine department: Marine Scotland, go on tours of their fleet of research vessels, and collaborate with them for research projects;
- Aberdeen is within easy reach of a range of marine environments, habitats and species – bottlenose dolphins are one of the more spectacular species regularly seen from the Aberdeen shoreline.
The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.
A UK 2:1 honours degree (or international equivalent), in a biological, environmental or physical science, geography, or other relevant subject; applicants with a 2ii (or equivalent), particularly with some relevant experience, may also be considered. We also consider individuals with degrees in a wider range of disciplines who are clearly motivated by the programme and have some relevant experience.
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English Language Requirements
To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:
OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0
OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21
OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59
Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency:
OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169
Read more about specific English Language requirements here.
You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.
an up-to-date CV/Resumé
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme